Dear Classical Music fans,

Welcome to the Classicalexburns music blog, I hope your visit today is enjoyable. This blog was founded in August 2015 by me (Alex Burns) and I set it up to help make classical music more accessible for everybody. The blog aims to cover as much ground as possible, so whether you are a die-hard classical music fan or a novice to the genre, there will be something for you on here. Blog posts vary in length and detail and will contain information, history, context, analysis and opinions, which will hopefully light enthusiasm around the genre.

I have recently completed an MA degree in Musicology at The University of Sheffield, where I also studied for my BMus degree in Music. My specialisms are women composers and Gustav Mahler. My research so far has been recognised within both Mahler and feminism studies, and I have given talks on both of these areas. I work as a freelance classical music journalist, programme note writer, concert speaker and trumpeter, so if you would like to work with me do get in touch! You can usually find me at the back of concert halls and bands writing, or being a typically loud trumpeter!

I undertake blogging challenges every so often, for instance my ‘Female Fortnight’ challenge, and my compiled lists can be seen below. I hope you enjoy your visit today, and please do not hesitate to contact me for any information, or if you have any requests for me to write about.

Classicalexburns has been ranked as the Number 1 best music blog on Score Big’s ‘Top 50 Music Blogs’! Check out the other great blogs here:

Classicalexburns has also been ranked at No. 28 in Feedspot’s ‘Top Classical Music Blogs in the World’. Check out the rest of the list here:



Happy reading!

Alex x


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Here is the link to the Classicalexburns Spotify playlist which has (nearly) all of the pieces on that I have covered on this site – 


October Alphabet Challenge 2017 – 01/10/2017 –

A – Arnold: Fantasy for Trumpet (1969)

B – Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (1721)

C – Crawford Seeger: Suite for Wind Quintet (1952)

D – Dvořák: In Nature’s Realm (1891)

E – Ellerby: Paris Sketches (1994)

F – Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine (1865)

G – Gubaidulina: Duo Sonata for Two Bassoons (1977)

H – Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber (1943)

I – Ireland: Decorations (1913)

J – Jenkins: Palladio (1995)

K – Krein: Jewish Sketches (1909)

L – León: Batá (1985)

M – Mealor: De Profundis (2011)

N – Nunn: Escape Velocity (2005)

O – Orff: O Fortuna (1936)

P – Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel (1978)

Q – Quantz: Concerto No. 129 for Flute (c.1745)


English Touring Opera article on Women Composers:

REMOSS Conference 2017 – Reflection Blog


FEMALE FORTNIGHT CHALLENGE 2.0! 17/01/2017-31/01/2017

Back by popular demand my Female Fortnight Challenge is back with 14 fantastic women composers! Here is the final list of women composers:

Day 1: Grace Mary Williams – Sea Sketches (1944)

Day 2: Tansy Davies – neon (2004)

Day 3: Chen Yi – Ge Xu (1994)

Day 4: Dora Pejačević – Two Sketches for Piano (1918)

Day 5: Dobrinka Tabakova – Whispered Lullaby (2004)

Day 6: Sarah Fuller Flower Adams & Eliza Flower – Nearer, my God, to Thee (c.1840)

Day 7: Pauline Oliveros – A Love Song (1994)

Day 8: Francesca Caccini – Lasciatemi Qui Solo (1618)

Day 9: Ursula Mamlok – Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra (1976)

Day 10: Dana Suesse – Concerto in Three Rhythms (1932)

Day 11: Jennifer Higdon – Percussion Concerto (2005)

Day 12: Teresa Carreño – La Fausse Note (1872)

Day 13: Julia Gomelskaya – Memento Vitae (1996)

Day 14: Kaija Saariaho – Laterna Magica (2009)


FEMALE FORTNIGHT CHALLENGE! 1/09/2016-14/09/2016

To celebrate the life and musical works of female composers I have completed my challenge ‘Female Fortnight’. 14 blogs, written daily based on a wide-range of female composers. Here is the final list of composers and works:

Day 1: Joan Tower – Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No.1 (1989)

Day 2: Amy Beach – Piano Concerto in C# minor (1899)

Day 3: Wendy Mae Chambers – Mass for Mass Trombones (1993)

Day 4: Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre – Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Continuo (c.1707)

Day 5: Keiko Abe – The Wave Impressions Concerto for Marimba (2002)

Day 6: Elizabeth Maconchy – Nocturne for Orchestra (1950)

Day 7: Clara Schumann – Three Romances for Violin and Piano (1853)

Day 8: Alexandra Pakhmutova – Trumpet Concerto (1955)

Day 9: Alma Mahler – Five Songs for Voice and Piano (1911)

Day 10: Lera Auerbach – Icarus (2006)

Day 11: Cécile Chaminade – Concertino for Flute and Piano in D major (1902)

Day 12: Cindy McTee – Adagio for String Orchestra (2002)

Day 13: Joan Trimble – The Green Bough (1941)

Day 14: Dorothy Ker – A Gentle Infinity (2009)



To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of classicalexburns, I have taken on an August Alphabet challenge! 26 blogs, written daily based on each letter of the alphabet (in order and based on composers). Here is the final list:

A – Arutunian Trumpet Concerto (1950)

B – Beethoven Egmont Overture (1810)

C – Copland Letter from Home (1944)

D – Dukas The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1897)

E – Elfman Edward Scissorhands: The Grand Finale (1990)

F – Falla Nights in the Gardens of Spain (1916)

G – Grofé Mississippi Suite (1925)

H – Humperdinck Hansel and Gretel Overture (1892)

I – Ives The Unanswered Question (1906&1936)

J – Jacob An Original Suite (1928)

K – Kabalevsky The Comedians’ (1938)

L – Liszt Liebestraum No.3 (1850)

M – Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition (1874)

N – Nielsen Symphony 2: The Four Temperaments (1902)

O – O’Regan Latent Manifest (2010)

P – Poulenc Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings (1938)

Q – Quilter Children’s Overture (1914)

R – Respighi Pines of Rome (1924)

S – Silver Nocturne (2015)

T – Tartini Devil’s Trill Violin Sonata (1713)

U – Ungar Ashokan Farewell (1982)

V – Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending (1914)

W – Weir Stars, Night, Music and Light (2011)

X – Xenakis Jonchaies (1977)

Y – Yoshimatsu White Landscapes (1991)

Z – Zimmer The Battle from Gladiator (2000)


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